Appalachian State men’s basketball head coach Jim Fox has announced changes to his coaching staff for the upcoming season. Jason Allison has been elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach and I.J. Poole has been promoted from director of basketball operations to assistant coach. Fox also has hired Wilbur Allen as an assistant coach.
Allison enters his fifth season at Appalachian State in 2018-19. During his first four seasons with the Mountaineers, he led recruiting efforts while contributing to other areas such as game planning and film sessions. He helped App State rise to the fifth seed in last season’s Sun Belt Tournament and a 93-64 first round victory over Little Rock. He also helped bring two-time All-Sun Belt honoree Ronshad Shabazz to Appalachian. Allison came to the High Country after nine seasons as an assistant at Virginia Military Institute.
“I am proud to promote Jason to associate head coach,” Fox said. “Jason and his family have invested in our program for four years. He has done a tremendous job recruiting by going out and finding players that fit our culture. I believe this is well deserved as he takes another step towards running his own program one day.”
Poole enters his second year on Fox’s staff at App State. As the director of basketball operations last season, he handled budget management, daily scheduling and team travel. Poole spent time on the coaching staffs at Tennessee and Texas before joining the Mountaineers.
“Since he arrived, I.J. has worked tirelessly and worn every hat within our program,” Fox said. “He tackled many different tasks and he’s done so in an exemplary manner. I’m proud to promote I.J. to assistant coach because I know he will do his job with as much enthusiasm as he did this past year.”
Allen joins the program after spending the last two seasons at Ole Miss. He served as the Rebels’ coordinator of player development for the 2017-18 season and was an interim assistant coach for eight games. He also served as a graduate assistant for the Rebels in 2016-17. Prior to Ole Miss, Allen served as the head coach of the NBA YAO School in Beijing City, China and was the associate head coach at Oak Hill Academy. During his time at Oak Hill Academy, he coached four current NBA players in Ben McLemore, Sindarius Thronwell, Troy Williams and NBA champion Quinn Cook. He also coached two first round draft picks in Jordan Adams (22nd pick in 2014 NBA draft) and McLemore (7th pick in 2013 NBA draft). During the 2011-12 season, Allen played a large role in the Warriors’ perfect 44-0 record and eighth national championship in school history. He graduated from Temple in 2006 with a bachelor of business administration in international business and marketing. He also won four letters as a member of the Owls basketball team.
“I am pleased to bring Wilbur on board,” Fox said. “He came highly recommended from many different people in the basketball community whom I respect. Wilbur has demonstrated that no matter the obstacle or how difficult the task, he is up for the challenge. He has done many smaller jobs in basketball from his days at Temple and Oak Hill to where he is now. I know he will work extremely hard every day to make our program great.”